Standing in front of my easel, staring at a blank canvas, or one I’ve decided to keep painting into, can be daunting. In fact, it can be downright scary!
I come to the canvas with an idea, a thought, a visual expression I want to make manifest, and always, my critter mind gets going like crazy! Forget it. Stop it. Don’t bother. Nope, too scary. Nope, you aren’t an artist.
To move through the critter’s nattering I must take action. Get into action. Get going. I must make the first mark of paint, and then the second, and third and keep putting paint onto the canvas without letting the critter’s voice take hold.
And, with each stroke of paint, with each breath I take, the fear subsides as I move into the sacred space of creating for the sake of creating.
Tamara joined me in the studio last night and at one point she commented how much she loves to create with no agenda.
It is in that space, that limitless and liminal space of creating without an agenda that magic happens, wonder awakens, awe invades. In that space, there is no critter’s voice telling me to Stop it. Or yammering about my limitations. There is only me and the muse. Me and the process of being present in all my senses, without judgement.
Now, don’t get me wrong, the critic has a role to play in the creative process. The original painting that forms the underpainting for Chicken Little was not pleasing me. The photo I shared is phase one. I don’t have a photo of phase two because it was quite ugly. I’d added a whole bunch of dark green trees in the foreground and the mass of them was disappointing! I was undecided as to where to go with it, what to do when I came upon a technique of painting random designs onto a background, and then, blocking out what was not needed and leaving the ‘desired’ elements exposed.
Letting go of fear, I decided to try it. What did I have to lose? A painting I wasn’t too happy with anyway?
And that’s where the magic, and the fun, happened.
In painting over, in fearlessly letting myself be one with the canvas, I found a new and fun way to work, and a piece I really like.
Just like life. when I’m stuck in thinking there’s only one way to do it, one thing to do, I am limiting my focus to the known, to the visible.
When I let go and relax, breathe into each moment and allow myself the grace of experimentation, of simply being present, miracles happen!